What if the dogs don’t want to take the Metro?
I know this article is going to be controversial, but I can’t help but wonder if many animalists don’t really defend animal rights but their own. Dogs don’t ask to get on the subway, they ask to live dog lives.
As human beings, we are prone to measure everything by our own standards and to easily confuse what is necessary for ourselves with what is necessary for others. That axiom does not even always work with other humans, so it is to be expected that with animals it will fail many, many times, especially if it is not based on scientific knowledge but on grief, mercy and that which is as abstract as “love of animals”.
Just today, before writing this article, I was sent a video on Facebook from the page I love animals, (which I don’t reproduce to avoid any more visits) where a little monkey would wash himself in a basin with the liquid soap provided by his owner along with a text that said: “Would you like to have a pet like that?”, plus three smiling faces.
It is a contradiction in terms for someone who claims to love animals to agree to take a wild animal out of its habitat, its customs, and its fellow creatures and prevent it from having the life it deserves. Not to mention that fashions with certain species often fatten the current accounts of illegal traffickers and reduce the number of specimens in their natural habitat.
Forgetting how animals live in the wild when they are brought home ( lat.domus) is also often done with the only domesticated species we should call pets: dogs and cats. On the All about my cat blog, there is an interesting article about the pros and cons of cats going outdoors. In it we can read:
“The traditional point of view wants us to believe that the cat “needs” to go out when it is totally false. An indoor cat doesn’t have to become lazy and fat if we give it the right care. Although it is true that cats like to go out and can benefit from walks and distractions, it is not at all essential. (sic)
Who benefits from not going outside, the cat or the owner? The traditional viewpoint is that village cats went in and out of the house at will, something that is still happening now in villa developments as well. The justification is that if they don’t go out on the streets they live many more years because they don’t run the risk of contracting diseases, being run over or fighting with other cats, in short, what used to be called living.
General concepts such as happiness or freedom are used with the meaning that we humans give it, which we are not sure is the same as that given by animals. It is important to realize this and to relativize because in their name many atrocities are committed.
“….freedom comes at a very high price for a pet, and the best option is to provide a safe environment for him to go out. And no, it’s not a safe environment in town or a forest. A safe environment is, for example, a well fenced and fenced garden of one’s own.” (sic)
Aren’t we wanting to have porcelain toys instead of living animals? Starting with the word freedom and ending with fencing and fencing seems, and it is an incongruity. We like our cats for their independence and their wild side, but we want them to be around us at all times and to live as long as possible in a safe and aseptic environment, to hunt rubber ducks that don’t leave everything stained with blood and feathers and to eat packed tuna.
Dogs are also going through a process similar to that of cats. We don’t want dogs, we want stuffed animals that don’t bark, don’t bother, do what we tell them, don’t use their teeth, don’t fight with each other and don’t ride the females. Sometimes I see a lot of people who don’t even let them pee on corners or smell other people’s poop.
In zoos, it has long been known that animals have fewer behavioral problems (stereotypes, stress) when they can perform movements or actions that are deeply embedded in their instincts, such as foraging or nesting. In wolves and feral dogs, marking their territory is essential, almost as important as smelling the marks of others and biting a good bone.
Smelling, scoring or gnawing are they happier? I dare not speak of happiness in human terms, but they certainly like to do it very much and try to repeat it whenever they can.
Are you looking to walk around a shopping mall or spend the afternoon in a bar, and squeeze into a subway car surrounded by thousands of smells for your fine sense of smell, in general, I don’t think you’re very cheerful about doing all that. When we sign and protest for dogs to enter everywhere, it is not for animal rights, but for our own.